Finding the right country for your TEFL experience is a tough one. There are so many truly wonderful destinations out there and too much choice for TEFL and TESOL teachers. We’re here to make that a little easier for you! TEFL and TESOL Teaching in South Korea is all the new craze and the economy is booming. If you are looking for a TEFL destination that is high paying, has a good lifestyle, and supportive and friendly culture, then South Korea is for you.
From the culture and tourism of South Korea to the teaching experience, let us take you on a journey and find out everything you need to know before moving to South Korea.
South Korea is home to an abundance of attractions. TEFL and TESOL teachers will enjoy a unique blend of historical-cultural heritage and contemporary culture. Teachers can explore and appreciate local cultures, natural settings, and unique food thanks to these maintained local identities.
As a TEFL teacher, you won’t have any problems getting used to the lifestyle that’s lived in South Korea. Generally, Koreans live by the Confucian culture, which ultimately is living with respect for elders, seniority, and ancestors. We think this is such a lovely way to live! They also have a “work to live” ethic, not a “live to work”. It is a beautiful and refreshing culture.
In saying this, Koreans are also very up-to-date with modern technology and cultures. Home of K-pop and modern art, there is so much to see and explore while over there. Especially in the big cities, you’ll see modern influence everywhere.
South Korea is also the world leader in internet connectivity. Approximately 92% of the country’s population are internet users, and they boast the world’s fastest average connection speed. So, if you’re feeling like you’d like to teach online in your spare time, there’ll be zero issues!
When it comes to attractions, South Korea has some of the best in the world! One of the most fascinating is a no-land man’s that is part of a military boundary between two countries that are still formally at war (the DMZ). Other places to add to your bucket list would be Changdeokgung Palace, Busan, Jeonju, and, of course, N Seoul Tower.
When teaching, make sure to know that children born in South Korea are considered “one year old” when they are born and will turn two on the next Lunar New Year. 100 days after their birth, a celebration is held for the baby. Another good fact to know when teaching TEFL/TESOL in South Korea is that red ink is considered bad luck, so make sure to use the right pen!
Minimum Requirements for TEFL Teaching in South Korea
You must apply for an E-2 (teaching) visa through your nearest Korean embassy or consulate if you want to teach English in Korea.
There are four basic requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for an E-2 visa. A bachelor’s degree or diploma from an authorized institution is required. You must be a citizen of one of the following countries: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, or New Zealand. Also, if you are from Quebec, you may be required to demonstrate your English skills. For example, holding a degree or diploma from an English-speaking CEGEP or university will help. You must pass a drug and health test. Lastly, you should have a clean criminal record.
Schools and programs may have further requirements and the public school system seems to be a lot more strict, but these requirements are the minimum that you do need.
Types of Schools in South Korea
In South Korea, there are five main routes for TEFL and TESOL teaching abroad. These include public schools, hagwons (private schools), universities and international schools, and private tutoring.
Students travel to private language centers (Hagwons) to learn English as a supplement to their public school education or as an alternative for their public school education. The average class size is between 8 and 15 students. Teachers have access to internal systems that allow them to share lesson plans. Private institutions only require rudimentary lesson planning.
Students attend public schools for their daily education. Teachers in public schools often teach at 1-3 different public schools during the week (depending on the province) to keep their calendars full. Monday through Friday, working hours are normally in the mornings and afternoons. The average class size in public schools is roughly 20-30 people. In the class, there is a South Korean teaching assistant.
South Korea holds great importance on continuing education, and there are more than 400 colleges in the country, many of which offer English programs taught by native speakers. In Korea, experienced TEFL and TESOL teachers look for university professions because they provide autonomy, short teaching hours, older pupils, and the potential of a four-month vacation. You will need experience for these types of jobs though, but it’s something to work up to.
Looking to teach for a year in a beautiful country with a rich culture? Then you’ve arrived at the perfect spot! With this TEFL internship, you’ll gain a lifelong TEFL qualification and enhance your teaching skills while enjoying the cultural joys of unique and colorful South Korea.
It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to teach in Korea. There are opportunities to stay if you are not ready to leave following a one-year contract teaching pupils in elementary and middle school. We have teaching positions available in both large cities and small towns around South Korea, as well as private and public schools.
This is an amazing opportunity with the best people, but here are a few highlights of what you can expect:
Salary up to $2,050 – €1,730 – £1,500 depending on qualifications & experience
One-way flight reimbursement
End of contract bonus (equivalent to one month’s pay)
12-month long teaching placement
Teach in public or private language schools
Full arrival induction
In-country teacher meetups
One-month online Korean language lessons
Medical insurance (school covers 50%)
Weekends off & All public holidays off
Ongoing in-country support
Introduction to Korean Culture course
Cultural Etiquette at Korean Schools short course
You can participate in two cultural orientations during the year while teaching English in South Korea, in addition to your leisure time. Our program providers will hold classes and excursions over three weekends in a row. For more information, please see our dedicated webpage to South Korea or call us today!
Q: Does Korea accept TEFL Certification?
Not only is it accepted, but in order to teach English in South Korea, you must have a TEFL certification. You do not need professional teaching experience to get hired. However, obtaining your TEFL certification will equip you with the necessary training and qualifications.
Q: How much do TEFL teachers earn in South Korea?
This will depend on the route you choose as there are lots of options in South Korea. Teacher salaries in public schools range from 1.5-3 million won per month. Your average monthly wage as a teacher at a Korean Hagwon, or private academy, would be 1.9-2.3 million won. English teachers in South Korea are paid 2.3-3.5 million won per month by universities. As an English teacher in an international school, you can earn between 1.8 and 2.8 million won each month.
Q: How do I get a TEFL job easily in South Korea?
The key to getting employment in South Korea is to first have all the requirements for a work permit. Once you meet these, as teachers are high in demand, it can be quite easy to get a TEFL job. The easiest way for you to go through application processes, visa applications, and organizing flights is through a program, which will help you with your demo lesson for the application, interview skills, and everything in between.
Q: Which TEFL course is best for South Korea?
Most South Korean schools will accept the 120-hour TEFL certificate. There may a few that will want the level 5 qualification. Schools, such as universities and business English schools, may require this. For the most part, though, the 120-hour TEFL certification will do just fine. If you don’t have any experience, we still suggest level 5 as this may help you get a higher wage and help you stand out in front of the crowd.
Q: Are English teachers in demand in Korea?
South Korea’s economy is one of the world’s most modern, yet it has preserved much of its unique culture as one of the four Asian tigers. Teaching English in South Korea is one of the most popular TEFL destinations in the world for this reason.